Spring is in the air! The abundant flowers and fresh feeling of this season have lots of people looking to organize their spaces. Spring cleaning is great for getting your house in order, but what about also using this time to focus on getting things in gear with your life goals?
Most of us think of goal setting at the start of the New Year. New Year’s resolutions have a place but can be met with roadblocks. Life Coach, Hannah Braime writes that “with NY resolutions we start with a bang, only to have commitments and distractions throw us off course.” Whether you have New Year’s resolutions or not, the key is to find at least one other time in the year to reflect and self-evaluate your bigger picture goals. A mid-year check-in is great for this!
We spoke with Kailyn Lynch, holistic wellness advocate and founder of Redefining Our who explained that, “regular check-ins are vital for our growth because they offer us the opportunity for reflection. It is through transparent reflection that allows us to understand when to pivot, rest, strategize, seek support, and be honest about when we are in our way.” Research shows that goal setting is an important part of leadership, personal growth and success. Mapping out one’s goals for finances, health and family is key.
Oftentimes, women of color are frequently pulled in multiple directions. It may seem like we are stretched too thin, and we don’t have the luxury of taking time to reflect on our goals. We often wear a Superwoman Cape proudly doing it all. Professor Woods-Giscombe found that this ‘Can Do It All’ attitude leads to stress and health problems. Thus, stopping to take stock is not just good practice but it could be life-saving. Dr Vikki Johnson, Founder of SoulWealth® LLC told us that another way to think about it is, “We don’t have time to waste time” She urges us to consider, “If what you are doing is not in alignment with your vision, purpose, calling or it doesn’t nourish your soul, it’s time to do something different.”
If you had New Year’s resolutions or goals mapped out
If you are a ‘New year’s resolution’ fanatic, you can allow the mid-year check-in to help you see how things are going in those areas. In our conversation with Madineyah Isaacs, Certified Life and Leadership Coach, she explained “mid-year check-ins serve as a great checkpoint to see if we are on track to achieve what we set out to do in January and course-correct if need be. Most importantly, it’s to see if we still resonate with the goal, because as we grow and evolve so can our goals.” If you get a feeling that says yes it’s good to still be focusing on a goal, take time to reflect on how you can continue the momentum. Madineyah also affirms, “if your goal does not resonate anymore, know that it’s okay to change your mind, change your goal or scrap it altogether. BUT before you do, be honest with yourself; are you changing it or scrapping it because you don’t believe in your ability to bring it into being or have you truly outgrown it?” A great way to determine whether to cross something off your priorities list is to journal. Lisa Nichols, an internationally renowned success coach is a huge proponent of journaling. She often talks about the importance of taking time to make notes of what’s going on in your life by writing in a journal, and then periodically reviewing what you wrote. This journal review can help you contemplate what is meaningful to you now and whether the goals you had should stay on your list or go.
If you didn’t have any New Year’s resolutions or goals
No need to worry. You can take advantage of the new spring energy to consider what’s going on in your life and where you want it to go. Kailyn Lynch recommends we ask ourselves “are my current behaviours, thoughts, and beliefs in alignment with what I want to experience?” You should also think about what worked for you in the first half of the year, recall things that did not work and come up with things that you didn’t consider before but you might need to focus on now. Remember, it is important to include all areas of your life in this reflection; do not exclude your relationships and self-care.
Common questions to ask during a mid-year check-in:
-How do I make sure that I can complete the goals that I have ahead of me?
-What personal and productivity blocks might I face, and how can I set myself up so I overcome them?
-What obstacles can I expect to come up against and where can I get support to manage them?
According to Psychology Today, when you are creating your goals list, it is important to consider: focusing on what you want to shift and why. Answering the ‘why’ question, allows you to see how the goal fits with your values and passion. It’s also a great reminder for when things start to get tough. Hannah Braime writes “Having a word or phrase that encapsulates how you would like to experience your next six months helps remind you of the goals and intentions you’re setting now, and reduces the chance that we’ll get to the end of the year and regret how we spent our time.”
Another key with the mid-year check-in is to be flexible and kind to yourself. Think of it in terms of the glass half full. It’s about supporting yourself in your dreams, not punishing yourself for what you didn’t do. Dr Vikki Johnson adds that the reason for the check-in is to “Invest in your growth.” Research in positive psychology has shown that when we set aside time to imagine future possibilities, we are pulled by the future rather than pushed by the past. We are better able to tap into our full potential.” So, take that time to check in with yourself. Spring forward, and pull your dreams towards you.